GUWAHATI, Dec 26 - It was a disappointing day for Assam football as Mohammedan Sporting, Kolkata will get three points against Guwahati FC in the All India Football Federation's (AIFF) Second Division I League without playing the match. The match was scheduled to be played at the SAI ground here today. The match commissioner Rizwan Ul Haq called off the match citing unavailability of required medical facilities for hosting the crucial encounter.
As per the AIFF rules the organisers have to arrange Automated External Defibrillator (AED) ambulance along with other facilities, which was not available. The match was about to be started as both the team lined up and the referee Ravichandra Singh was ready to blow the starting whistle at 1.30 pm. But at that moment Haq suddenly asked the referee to wait and he examined the ambulance. Then he asked the organisers, officials of the Guwahati FC to facilitate an ambulance with AED. Accordingly the organisers have requested a leading nursing home of the city to provide an ambulance with all facilities. When the ambulance came it was quite late and that too without AED facilities. The match commissioner finally called the match off at 3.20 pm anticipating the time will not permit to complete it.
When asked, Haq said he has to follow the AIFF rules and as per the rule the match could not be played. But interestingly, Guwahati FC earlier hosted two matches at the NF Railway Stadium, Maligaon and during both the matches ambulance with AED facility was not available. The Guwahati FC manager Dayal Mazumder said, he had intimated the match commissioner about non availability of the ambulance with AED facilities well in advance but at that moment Haq did not react on this matter.
The Guwahati FC co-owner Sanjibe Narain said the hosts have to spend a hefty amount for organising a match and that too without any financial support from AIFF. So, such decisions obviously discourage the host and it was not a healthy practice for Indian football. He also vowed to take legal action against AIFF if Mohammedan Sporting is awarded three points for this abandoned match. He revealed that the match could have been played as two ambulances were available on the ground.
The Assam Football Association secretary Ankur Dutta said that there is no other way but to abide by the AIFF rules. He, however, said that the Guwahati FC may appeal to the AIFF for a re-match.
In the five-team Conference A, Mohammedan Sporting is at the second spot with 10 points from five matches while Guwahati FC is at fourth position with five points.